$18.2M awarded to contractors via Building Industry Fairness Act

17 July 2019

More than $18.2 million in disputed payments has been awarded to unpaid building and construction workers in less than six months since changes took effect to make adjudication easier to access for subbies.

Since February, 124 adjudication decisions have been handed down under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act), which implemented a number of measures to ensure everyone in the building industry is paid in full and on time.

QBCC Commissioner Brett Bassett said adjudication was a dispute resolution process that not only helped contractors get the money they were owed, but was more time and cost-effective than going to court.

“Adjudication is now simpler than ever for those with payments in dispute, with every invoice automatically recognised as a payment claim,” Mr Bassett said.

“Already we’ve seen 71 claimants successfully use adjudication to recoup money owed to them.

“The amounts claimed range from $400 to multi-millions of dollars, the highest awarded was more than $8.7 million.

“Decisions for adjudication take 21 days on average for a standard claim, which means contractors see their money a lot sooner than if they were to take their claim to court.

“We are serious about ensuring everyone in the building and construction industry is paid, in full and on time, every time.

“Fulfilling this mission will provide peace of mind to the quarter of a million Queenslanders who make a living in the sector.”

The QBCC took compliance action against two civil construction companies that withheld more than $72,000 from subcontractors, issuing the first fines for the BIF Act offence of failing to provide a payment schedule.

DC Constructions was fined after it failed to supply a payment schedule to Young Plumbing and Excavations for pipeline construction at Coopers Plains worth $20,600.

The second company fined, Goodland Field Services, failed to provide a payment schedule for $52,100 owed to Poly Pipe Solutions for works at the Botanic Parklands in Chinchilla.

Both companies were fined $1305.50 each and all of the disputed amounts have since been paid to the claimants.

The fines come after a new advertising campaign launched last month to educate the industry on the five new laws introduced under the BIF Act to improve security of payment.

For further information on the new security of payment laws, visit https://qbcc.build/sop